Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Sliding Into Homelessness: I did everything right, but had nowhere to go
photo by YC Art Dept.
Sliding Into Homelessness
I did everything right, but had nowhere to go


I am 21 years old and a full-time student at LaGuardia Community College, working toward a degree in writing and literature. I am a writer for Represent magazine and I work as a research analyst for an international company.

I sound like I’ve got it all figured it out, right? Well, I kind of do, but I’m still homeless.

Here’s how it happened. As I neared my 21st birthday, I was living in a group home, starting college, and didn’t have a job. So my two best post-foster-care housing options were the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York/New York III. NYCHA is a housing program (also known as “the projects”) that allows you to pay 30% of your income, no matter what it is, for rent. NY/NY III is “supportive housing,” furnished apartments with caseworkers and social workers in the building to help residents with practical and emotional needs. NY/NY III is available to nine categories of people in New York City, including people who are mentally ill, substance-abusing, living with HIV/AIDS, and youth aging out of foster care up to age 26.

Three months before my 21st birthday, I applied to NYCHA but they closed my case because I didn’t have a job and I couldn’t pay my share of the rent. I was supposed to be receiving Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because I have a condition called short bowel syndrome that requires me to go to the hospital fairly often. (If you are getting SSI, NYCHA counts that as income. See p. 25 for more on getting SSI.) I showed a letter from my caseworker saying I would be getting SSI, but I never did get it, so NYCHA took me off the list. I later got a job, but I couldn’t reapply for another six months.

I also applied for an apartment through NY/NY III one month before my 21st birthday. I got accepted and all I was doing was waiting for the landlord to call to tell me when I could move in. The director of the program told me it could be a day or a month or longer, depending on when someone moved out. I figured I was set, because I had two options.

The Same Mistake Twice

But when I turned 21, a spot hadn’t opened up with NY/NYIII. So my agency sent me to live with my mother even though I did not belong at my mother’s house. I hadn’t lived with my mom since I was 15 and she’d put me in foster care when I was 17. My mother agreed that I could stay with her temporarily as long as I paid the monthly cable TV/Internet/phone bill and contributed some food as well. . .

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